There are several different options available for replacing missing teeth. The top two choices are dental implants and dentures. There are a variety of reasons why someone may choose one option over the other. Having information about the two and discussing the options with a dentist can make the decision making process more comfortable.
Comparing Dental Implants and Dentures
The materials used are completely different, although both are completely safe and comfortable within the mouth. Acrylic is generally used for the base of dentures, although some have metal supports and others may have a flexible base made from nylon. Plastic or porcelain is used for the tooth portion of dentures. Titanium is used for dental implants. This is a metal that is safe and compatible with the human mouth.
Dentures are the less time consuming of the two in terms of how long it takes for the completion of the dentures. The process generally takes between three and six weeks. This time frame covers the initial impression cast of the mouth, the creation of models and fittings, and the final casting and adjustments of the dentures.
The dental implant is actually fitted and placed into the opening where the tooth is missing. A local anesthesia will need to be administered. The surgery itself is relatively quick, although it can take between five and eight months to completely adhere the synthetic tooth to the implant.
Comfort is often a determining factor when deciding between dentures or a dental implant. Since dentures aren’t permanently fixed in the mouth, they can move about the mouth and create a slight clicking noise. This doesn’t cause any pain but can make some people self-conscious and uncomfortable. The ability to chew can be impacted as well since the dentures can move about.
Dental implants are permanently fixed in the mouth, so they are more like natural teeth. There are no issues with chewing and eating, as unlike dentures they will not move around.
Reasons to choose a certain type:
If someone has lost a lot of teeth then dentures are generally chosen used. This is because dental implants require a healthy jaw with sufficient bone and a healthy mouth, and of course dentures are cheaper. Dentures will need to be replaced over time, as the jaw structure will change with age.
Dental implants are generally used to replace one missing tooth, although they can be used to replace several missing teeth or even a whole upper or lower set of teeth. Anyone with a healthy mouth and jaw can choose a dental implant, although diabetics and smokers are discouraged from using dental implants. Dental implants can last for the duration of the patient’s lifetime without the need for replacement.
Dentures are generally more cost-effective. The price range varies for dentures and is dependent upon which type of denture is needed. Pricing varies from around $300 to $2,000. Dental implants can cost in excess of $2,000 per tooth. Cost can often be the major deciding factor, though all considerations should be factored in as well.